Orange Pippin logo
All about apples, pears, plums, and cherries - and orchards where they are grown

Rubens® apple

Malus domestica

Rubens is a new dessert apple, which is now being promoted to supermarkets in Europe. Like many modern apple varieties it is trademarked, and the supply of apples is carefully controlled using selected orchards. This highly commercial approach is necessary to break into the competitive market for supermarket apples, and whilst it is a far cry from the quiet appeal of heritage varieties, it is not necessarily a bad thing because consumers can be assured of a consistent quality.

Environmental factors are an increasing concern for all horticultural production and it is interesting to see that Rubens trees are being planted by growers throughout the main European markets, so that the "food miles" distance from orchard to consumer is minimised. 140,000 trees have been planted in Kent,UK, with other plantings in Germany, South Tyrol, Austria, Switzerland, Netherlands, Belgium and Denmark.

We are grateful to Herbert Knuppen of for the following marketing information about Rubens.

Rubens®civni is a cross between Elstar and Gala created in Ferrara, Italy in 1988, selected by CIV and registered under the brand Rubens®. C.I.V. Consorzio Italiano Vivaisti is the breeder and owner of Rubens® trademark, which identifies the trees and the fruits. The Fruit Rubens civni® is a bicolour variety and harvesting in the UK is approximately 10-15 days after Gala. Furthermore the Rubens apple farms have been specially selected for their ‘green’ credentials. All Rubens growers adhere closely to the UK’s highest standards on minimum usage of pesticides and follow the best possible environmental practices. This means that not only do the farms refrain from using harmful chemicals, but they also restore hedges and plant new woodland - rightly winning awards for their care and enhancement of the environment.

USDA identification images for Rubens

The identification paintings in the USDA Pomological Watercolor Collection span the years 1886 to 1942.

    Citation: U.S. Department of Agriculture Pomological Watercolor Collection. Rare and Special Collections, National Agricultural Library, Beltsville, MD 20705.

    Parents and other ancestors of this variety

    Close relations of this variety (share 1 parent)

    Visitor reviews

    • 23 Oct 2023 
      Crisp, Juicy. Good blend of sharp and sweet.
    • 22 Sep 2020  SC, United States
      Bought some from an apple orchard in North Carolina recently. They are my new favorite! Crisp and very sweet :)
    • 28 Jan 2020  LONDON, United Kingdom
      I buy these in Sainsbury Islington Thry are realiably high quality. They're sold as "English apples" you have sesrch for the Rubens name
    • 04 Mar 2012  United Kingdom
      Reply to comment of Niamh, Ireland 29 Oct 2009. The "Banana flavour" refers to another earlier variety of the same name from 1950 ' Holland. Not the same apple at all! Make certain that you buy the right one, which shopuld contain the word "civni" on the apple or packaging.
    • 21 Nov 2011  LANARKSHIRE, United Kingdom
      The best tasting apple by a long shot. Hitherto a huge Braeburn fan ..but alas no longer. Discovered Rubens this autumn in local Sainsburys-now I am hooked! Desperately want one to plant in my garden.
    • 19 Nov 2011  TEXAS, United States
      Just bought one at our Kroger and ate it as soon as I got home. Wow. What a great tasting, crisp, apple. I hope they will be readily available this winter.~ Has any one baked with a Rubens apple? I was wondering how it cooks up in pies, breads, and cakes.
    • 02 Nov 2011  NORTH YORKSHIRE, United Kingdom
      Bought these from Booths in Settle for the last few weeks and can’t stop eating them. They are really juicy, crisp and have a sharp fantastic flavour. The tastiest apple of the moment.
    • 23 Jun 2011  ESSEX, United Kingdom
      I was hooked on Rubens the very first time I tasted one. However, I'm finding it extremely difficult to obtain the Italian Rubens, which is the best tasting. Once tasted, you'll never want another kind of apple; it is out of this world, so jicy it does not discolour when left cut. I SO wish I could buy a tree to grow my own in the garden. Help! Dilys
    • 13 Dec 2010  INVERNESS-SHIRE, SCOTLAND, United Kingdom
      just purchased my first Rubens in Inverness. Delicious. Oh why don't I live nearer to the growers!
    • 23 Oct 2010  MILNTHORPE, United Kingdom
      Saw and bought these for the first time time, today, at a Booth's supermarket in Kirkby Lonsdale. Very impressed. The first bight was sharp, crisp, juicy and full of apple flavour as they are when straight from the tree. Highly recommended.
    • 11 Nov 2009  WOKING SURREY, United Kingdom
      Just tasted Rubens; it's absolutely delicious. I never thought I'd find the equal to my favorite, Macintosh USA (whose crossbreed is Spartan in this country.
    • 29 Oct 2009  IRELAND, Ireland
      Odd little tidbit...the wrapper on these apples from my local supermarket described them as having a 'banana flavor'. I must say I didn't taste that.
    • 27 Oct 2009  LONDON, United Kingdom
      They were giving these apples free to the public today outside tube stations and I got 2. I'm not a huge lover of apples but these rubens apples are utterly delicious. They're crunchy and crisp and the best apples I've tasted in a long time. Definitely an apple with a lot of flavour and I'll be buying them if I see them in the shops.
    • 25 Oct 2009  IRELAND, Ireland
      Lovely, distinct 'fizzing' taste from this apple. I like the apparent focus on European growers too. I will buy these again.
    • 19 Nov 2008  LONDON, United Kingdom
      As well as the usual bland 'green apples' and 'red apples', the Cheapside Tesco in the City stocks bags of different Kent grown apples throughout Autumn. This week they've got Rubens grown by JA Colthup. Really tasty, would happily eat these all the time.
    • 12 Nov 2008  DRONFIELD, DERBYSHIRE, United Kingdom
      12/10/08. Our local greengrocer had some in today,tastiest apples in a long time,they were grown in Kent
    • 25 Oct 2008  KENT, United Kingdom
      Rubins, Italy, prepackedx4 - Asda. Never tasted before, so curious. was not expecting much - as on offer £1/4 fruit. Very pleasant. particulary consistent taste. quite moreish.
    • 12 Oct 2008  FOLKESTONE, United Kingdom
      I am fed up with the usual supermarket rubbishy apples that are stocked simply because of their uniform size. Where can I taste and purchase some 'Rumens'? Thank you. William Buck.

    Tree register

    We don't have any registered trees for this variety yet. If you have a Rubens tree you can register it here.


    • Species: Malus domestica - Apple
    • Parentage: Elstar x Gala
    • Originates from: Ferrara, Italy
    • Introduced: 1988
    • Developed by: Consorzio Italiano Vivaisti


    • Country of origin: Italy


    • Keeping (of fruit): 3 months or more


    • Ploidy: Diploid
    • Vigour: Average vigour
    • Fruit bearing: Spur-bearer
    • Self-fertility: Not self-fertile


    • Climate suitability: Temperate climates
    • Climate suitability: Warm climates

    Other qualities

    • Disease resistance: Average

    Where to buy fresh fruit

    No orchards have registered as growing this variety. If you grow this and want to register please go to our Orchard Registration form.

    Varieties you viewed